This Mexican-American queen may look like a Dia de los Muertos super villainess, but she’s actually the super sweet life of every party. Come wish her a happy birthday at Stonewall this week as she hosts her very own showcase, and read now about the life and times of Miss Catrina Lovelace!
Thotyssey: Catrina Lovelace, happy birthday week! I see you had a busy Pride, performing at Le Singe Vert with Pattaya Hart, and then crashing Victoria Chase’s show at Boots & Saddle! Was it a fun night?
Catrina Lovelace: I forgot most of the night due to heavy drinking, but that’s always a good sign of a great night!
Yes, indeed! I’m sure the footage will turn up soon!
Hopefully, it’s is safe in a vault!
I see you’re suffering through jury duty now. Did you consider showing up as Catrina when you were called, just to fuck with people?
Yes I did, but morning drag ain’t my thing unless it’s the cornerl!
So, Miss Catrina! You’re a native New Yorker? What neighborhood are you from?
I was born and raised in the Upper West Side, but now I live in the south Bronx.
Only the best! Until you find out they have kids!
Nobody’s perfect! So how was childhood for you? Were you always an artist and performer?
I definitely always strived to be one when I was younger. But coming from a Mexican background, the ideals of what it is to be a man were pushed onto me, so my father never wanted to let me take a dance class, or do anything related to that.
You ultimately went to FIT, so I guess he came around eventually, at least a little?
Unfortunately, he passed away before I went to college, but the idea of me dancing and performing definitely became a norm for him.
I’m sorry to hear that. Was Catrina created while you were at FIT?
Catrina was definitely a vague thought during FIT. I was super inspired by everyone’s outfits, and wanted to become more glamorous. But men’s clothing is so limited – even with high fashion.
Was menswear your focus at the time?
Actually my [major was] Fashion Merchandise, so we focused a lot on the business aspect of fashion.
Did you meet lots of cool, creative people at FIT? or was it mostly insufferable twats?
I lean more on the latter side. I met some incredibly talented and free-spirited people, but didn’t really talk much to them. And the people I did talk to really deserved a punch or two in the face [laughs]!
So, when exactly was Catrina born?
Catrina was born two years ago during the Pride March. It was my 21st birthday, so I wanted to do something big .I was already experimenting with makeup and hair, so I just gave birth to her that day. So my birthday also marks the anniversary of my drag persona.
Wow, so Catrina was born on Pride in every possible way! How did you drag name yourself? Is Linda Lovelace a person of interest for you?
[Laughs] Linda Lovelace is a person of interest. Catrina came from my Mexican heritage from the Day of The Dead. And Lovelace came from the famous porn actress, because Catrina is a slut.
I see a lot of Day of the Dead in your aesthetic. Did you intend to be more of a gothier queen in the beginning?
I mean, out of drag I am super gothic. Wall to wall covered in skulls and skeletons and black. I definitely wanted to bring some aspects of that into my drag, but not let it be what I’m known for. If that make sense [laughs]!
Totally! It’s actually a cool contradiction, because you often have this creepy look, but you are definitely a fun party queen.
Are you making/designing a lot of your costumes?
I at least try to. I want to say about 85% of the costumes I wear are costumes I made. The rest is compiled of essential pieces that range from thrift stores all the way to Rainbow.
Have you always been a dancer?
Oh yeah! My earliest memory is me and my oldest sister dancing to “Thriller” and” Scream” by Michael Jackson. I have always had a love for dance.
I see that you’re a budding cooter-slammer on the stage! This always looks completely terrifying to me. How does one not break her pelvis and testicles doing this?
Simple: dance the pain away. I think many drag queens will agree with me that, in the moment, whatever pain you are feeling goes away. Once you are off the stage, that’s when you regret some decisions you made!
Your usual partner in crime is Lola Michele-Kiki. How did you meet her, and is she considered your drag mama?
[Laughs] Not my drag mama, thankfully (just kidding). We actually met the first time I hosted GLOW at G Lounge. She was drunk out of her mind, and I had a drink ticket I didn’t want to use, so I gave it to her and we just clicked.
Aw! Do you have an actual drag mother?
Yes I do. Princess Bitch is my drag mother.
Oh, cool! What are the best and worst things about being a drag queen, in your opinion?
The best thing about drag is having the ability to make someone forget about all their troubles for a short amount of time, and have the greatest time without any worries. The worst thing, in my honest opinion, has to be the lack of understanding of other people’s drag aesthetic. I have had some people (audience members) come up to me and talk badly about other performers. And that just sucks, because it kind of demolishes what we are trying to build here, which is a community of acceptance.
There’s certainly a lot of backseat drag queens who think their opinions matter, aren’t there? You obviously meet a lot of wonderful, kind, creative people in your line of work. But inevitably, there’s gonna be nasty haters and shady bitches too. How do you generally respond to the shade game from other queens and nightlifers?
I try not to respond to it, because many times it is people that are trying to devalue you as a performer. Brita Filter actually gave me a really good piece of advice, which was: as long as you know your worth, and what you can bring to the table, who cares what anyone else thinks about you? I’m actually only shady and catty with my friends, and do it in a joking manner–and also to sharpen my wit.
So, what do you think about drag pageants? I know you did Miss Boots & Saddle this year, are you planning on entering any more?
[Laughs] drag pageants aren’t my thing. You definitely need a lot of time and planning for pageants, and I procrastinate waaaay to much. I definitely plan on entering more pageants when I feel and know that I am ready, and will have the time and patience to slay the competition.
You went about things the proper way in showbiz, basically performing anywhere with anyone who would have you! Has there been a venue in the city you haven’t performed in, yet?
There has been many actually, mostly in Hell’s Kitchen. I have yet to perform [much] in that scene, but hey, if any queen needs me I will be there!
Cool. You did do Queen at Industry a few weeks ago; that’s quite a rite of passage! Was that a good experience?
It was amazing! Aside from going behind the wrong curtain and my shoe almost killing half the crowd, it was definitely a great experience.
I think I heard about the shoe! You were hosting a Fear of the Walking Dead viewing party at Rockbar this spring. I don’t follow that one, but a lot of fans were complaining that the show was boring. What did you think?
People’s expectations of the show were definitely high, and they wanted it to be just like The Walking Dead. But what they dismiss is that it is a prequel of the show, so it’s going to be slow before it get action-packed. I like a good story, so I really like the show.
I hope it does too. These bills need to get paid, and I retired the hooker heels a long time ago!
I bet it was great learning experience though, right?
It was definitely a great learning experience, to be able to keep a crowd entertained for a longer period of time and to keep them in the bar as well.
Well, now you’re gonna host a special birthday showcase at Stonewall on Wednesday night, right after Lady Bunny’s last show! Your guest performers will include Lola, Princess, Lilith LeFae & Zalika Parsons! Are you psyched?
It’s surreal to me, because Stonewall has always been a place I have wanted to host a show at. So now that it is happening, I can’t believe it, and probably won’t until it’s actually happening!
You’re performing at a national landmark! How’s the night gonna go, you think?
Just a lot of dancing and tomfoolery to be honest. My guest performers and myself are very different, but very similar at the same time. We all bring the same amount of energy to the table. So, it’s definitely going to feel like it’s a weekend party.
Anything else coming up? I’m sure you’re about to start another huge round of appearances!
Aside from Stonewall, I will be at Boots with Princess Bitch and Lilith LeFae for their Friday happy hour show. That’s definitely going to be fun.
Always! Last question: What comic book character would you be if you could be anyone? Villainesses included!
I feel like I would be a villainess, and if I had to choose it would have to be Poison Ivy!
Gurl, you just keep slaying! See you at Stonewall, and happy birthday again!
Catrina Lovelace hosts her special birthday showcase at Stonewall on Wednesday, June 29th (9pm). She’ll be a guest performer for Princess Bitch & Lilith LeFae’s Friday happy hour (7pm – 9pm) show at Boots & Saddle on July 1st. Catrina can be followed on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.